Modules are the new kind of secondary equipment we’re currently working on. They provide interesting utility effects for your robots to augment your playstyle in new, often unexpected ways.
Does this sound familiar? That's right, Modules are back.
Since we announced them for the first time back in April, we heard many opinions. Many were excited for new playstyle-defining options and combat interactions. However, we noted three key issues after your feedback and early playtests:
- Rising complexity. With the previous instance of modules, there was too much to track: resistances, module configurations and so on
- Non-transparent mechanics. With the introduction of things like resistances and resistance penetration, the balance might be even harder for pilots to figure out
- Is this the equipment for the top 1% of pilots? How long it might get until a regular Joe can at least try the Modules in action?
Considering all these factors, we decided to pull Modules back for a total overhaul. And now we are bringing them back, addressing all of these issues.
Here's what we did.
Step 1. Introduce concepts gradually
Instead of launching modules with new status effects in one bunch, we spread these mechanics across multiple updates. 4.0 brought mid-combat repairs with Mender and Weyland. In 4.1 you got Lock-down guns. Then, 4.3 introduced Suppression.
This way we ensured that pilots gradually got used to the new concepts.
Step 2. Drop the excessive weight
Resistances are gone. We had several public test sessions with them, and resistances proved to be more confusing and excessive than fun. In result, damage resistance remained a supportive mechanic for certain robots (like Falcon), but as a core balancing staple — they're out.
There're also fewer module types now. Instead of three vague categories with separate slots for each, we left just two. Now there are active modules and there are passive modules. That's it.
Step 3. Make acquiring Modules simpler
Passive and active modules will be acquired differently.
Like weapons, sans Mk.2
- The first pack of passive modules will be available for Gold.
- Each Passive Module has 6 levels
- There is no Mk. 2 layer for Modules
Upgrading costs per level will be higher than for all regular equipment, but even at level 1, every module will be very useful with a complete set of tactical options.
Now the interesting part.
Free, consume resources on the use
Active modules — potentially, most desirable and most disruptive ones — are now free and non-upgradeable. Everyone can use them as long as their robot has an open active slot.
We wanted everyone to have an access to active modules, as their effects are truly game-changing. For example, a module called Frequency Shifter creates a big "do not disturb" territory: everyone inside can't be targeted from the outside, but they also can't target anyone outside. This makes everyone in the zone focus on each other until one side gets destroyed, leaves the circle, or Frequency Shifter duration ends.
Smart usage of Frequency Shifter can make or break a fight. Effects such as this one can level the battlefield and create a huge outplay potential even against stronger opponents.
Every use of an active module requires some amount of power cells to activate. Everyone will receive a fair amount of them at the beginning and then will be able to renew the supply through Battle Rewards. Alternatively, you can get cells for Gold.
Of course, there's a concern about abuse. We care a lot about setting up the right cooldown timers so those with tons of spare power cells don't cause a freaking mayhem. By our current estimates, every robot will have time to activate one module 2-3 times per spawn.
If pilots start throwing Frequency Shifters every time it's off cooldown, fights will get chaotic real quick. We want these modules to be used strategically, not sparingly. We also pay a lot of attention to visual telegraphing of modules making them obvious and counterable.
The first pack in 4.6 will include 9 modules. On the upcoming test server session, you can try all of them.
Once again, we encourage you to check Modules action. First of all, because we believe that the Frequency Shifter is quite a sight to behold, and second — because in the end, you might not agree with us. If this is the case, we need to hear from you!
See you on the test server!